Categorized | Devices, Opinion

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A tale of two Archos 5 Android owners

Posted on 26 April 2010 By Steve Chippy Paine

Archos 5 Internet Tablet _32_ I love the Archos 5 Internet Tablet. Jenn of Pocketables, on the other hand, doesn’t and we’ve been having a to-and-fro on Twitter that’s worth extending here because  it shows how personal opinions can vary widly. We’ve challenged ourselves to write one paragraph on the A5 to say why we think what we think. Before that though, here are a few tweets that kicked the discussion off.

@Smith922 I’ve never had a 5, 6, 7, 9 or 10″ device that beats this around the house. @pocketables will give you a different view though.

@chippy You’re kidding! What about it beats other at-home devices for you? And do you *only* use it at home?

@pocketables yeah. The Archos 5 rarely leaves my home, just fits me perfectly. Quite stable now too. Might get digital a/v dock soon.

@chippy Stability has been OK on mine. I just can’t stand resistive screen, stock OSK, & “ungoogled” Android. Dell Streak, where are you?

@chippy The Archos 5IT is fantastic as a PMP (like previous gens) but I went in expecting an awesome Android MID, which for me it isn’t.

Remember that this is all personal, subjective opinion!

Here’s my summary:

The Archos 5 fits my consumer internet device requirements both physically, through form-factor and font-sizing through to OS and applications and succeeds in doing it in a way that is better than any other home experience I’ve had before. Battery life is fantastic, it looks good and it’s priced at an a level that would have been unthinkable a few years ago. My use-case is home-based Twitter, email, Google Reader, MP3 player, podcatcher, storage, TV-playback, YouTube, ebooks and of course, the browser that supports all the links you receive through email and social apps. When you get a URL through twitter, you want a fast browser to view it! It CAN be better (smoothness, stability, capacitive screen, 3G) but it doesn’t exist yet and that makes the Archos 5 unbeatable in my book.

For Jenn’s summary paragraph, see her post at Pocketables here

Any Archos 5 owners care to offer another one-paragraph perspective?

19 Responses to “A tale of two Archos 5 Android owners”

  1. plwweasel says:

    I’ve had my 16G Archos 5 IT since November and use it on a daily basis. It has even replaced my Nokia n810 tablet, which I have now sold on ebay. It was a little rough going at first but I have truly been impressed with the constant flow of firmware updates from Archos. With the Android Market hack, you have access to thousands of apps although I have found that you rarely use more than 10 apps on any hand-held device. It is a great media device both for watching movies and also for podcast and music playback. My favorite uses are for twitter, facebook, ereader, and RSS reader. I also just recently purchased CoPilot GPS navigation app and it really works quite well for GPS voice navigation. Overall, I’m very satisfied with the Archos 5 IT.

  2. modano says:

    Im gonna say what i seem to be repeating all the time lately:
    1. Dell Streak!!!!!
    2. a mid without 3g is useless. Its like a cell phone with only wifi and skype.

  3. says:

    unless one already carry a phone, and can always use bluetooth to get other devices online…

  4. Chippy says:

    Actually the Archos 5 tethers really well to my Nokia. I don’t use it that way though. It’s a home device for me.

  5. Chippy says:

    Be careful with the Archos 7. Its running a very low end processor and I don’t expect the experience to be like the Archos 5.

  6. Gmich says:

    I’ve had my Archos 5 Android since November, and it’s been a love-hate relationship. When it’s working well, I love it, but unfortunately it has lots of bugs (yes, some have been fixed, but some annoying ones remain, like not connecting to wireless reliably, freezing up, shutting down, etc.). I really want to like it because I love the 5″ form factor, and i do like Android. But It’s just too much of a pain to keep it working reliably. I bought an iPad, and while I know they aren’t really the same class of device, it’s really nice to have something that just works. For now, I’m keeping the A5, but I may end up replacing it with an HTC Evo or an iPod Touch.

  7. Jim says:

    I sold my Nokia N800 for the Archos 5 8GB. It appears that this debate has two parts:
    1. Does a small tablet fit me?
    2. Is the Archos 5 a good small tablet?

    For me, a small tablet is absolutely perfect: I ride a bus to work, and it’s a one-hour trip (and another hour back). I need an eReader, PMP, game device, and email/news reader in a reasonable pocket-size package. Cellphones, such as the Nexus-1, are still just a bit too small to enjoy a book or movie. Large tablets, such as the iPad, require me to carry man-purse and I’m a tad nervous about dropping such an expensive device. The 5″ to 7″ tablets are perfect for a bus/train commuter (and also double quite nicely for couch-entertainment while watching the kids). I actually PREFER having a separate cellphone because I don’t want the hassle of an over-sized phone for my other daily activities. A phone that is big enough for movies and eBooks will become a tight fit when wearing shorts while jogging on a summer day.

    The next question: is the Archos a good tablet? Well, it is…relatively speaking…for now. This device was shoved out into the market as fast as they could, and it shows. It does everything they claim, and the latest firmware coupled with the Google Market package gives you a great variety of apps. The video-playing capabilities is fantastic compared to other Android tablets (many of the Chinese tablets have extremely poor video performance currently). However there are some limitations to the Archos tablet that a prospective buyer should know:
    1. Resistive screen simply isn’t as responsive as a capacitive one. The Archos has a GOOD resistive screen, but it’s still resistive.
    2. The lack of Home, Back, and Camera buttons means that some games and applications will not work properly.
    3. The current drivers do not have OpenGL hardware acceleration enabled. The racing games just aren’t going to perform too well for now (they say they are working on it).
    4. Memory management really needs work. Technically, the AndroidOS should auto-quit apps when memory gets low, but the Archos tablet never seems to do this in time, and crashes. Therefore, users are forced to either manage their own apps or get process utilities to do it for them. This annoyance is a primary cause of the stability issues (fix it already!)

    I knew the limitations going in, thanks to the Archosfans website (they have a really good wiki). The tablet is an incredible bargain for what you get. Even when the Dell Mini 5 arrives (some day before the sun turns cold), it will still be sold at a premium compared to the Archos tablet. I am very happy with the Archos, as it gives me the most “bang for the buck,” but I’m well aware that it’s not for everyone.

    – Jim

  8. Charbax says:

    A MID without 3G can be sold much cheaper.

    I like my Mifi for 3G access outdoors, using any $10/month 3G SIM card.

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  17. Dead5oul says:

    so it appears as if i have a biiiiig problem here….

    on the one hand ppl tell how amazing the archos5 IT is
    but on the other hand they say
    WOW!!!! dont toucht that thing…. its nothing but s**t..???

    well since i beleive that i would be satisfied with it i have several questions:

    1. Could i improve the space with a micro SD? if so by how many gigs?

    2. I have read that I couldnt watch Youtube videos with it anymore beacuse utube went foreward to falsh10 and the archos would be stuck with flash9…. is that realy so??

    3. Can u tell if there is a great difference between the older Archos 5IT and the newer model (which i believe to be new im not sure

    Im looking forward to your replay 🙂